Costes Chair (1982)

Cafe Costes is a smart cafe in Paris. Philippe Starck designed this outstanding chair for the Cafe in 1982. The Costes chair has become a symbol of Starck’s much publicised style: simple, elegant and functional.

Philippe Starck's Cafe Costes Chair
Philippe Starck’s Cafe Costes Chair, designed in 1982

Image source:,_sedia_costes,_1981.JPG

History of the project

Costes chair, designed by Philippe Starck, started being mass-produced from 1985 by Driade, an italian company, using a black painted tubular steel structure and curved plywood shell. The timeless appeal of the Costes chair is confirmed by its popularity even today, over 26 years since it was first placed on the market.

In 1982, the Cafe Costes was a smart new cafe in Paris. Philippe Starck was its interior designer and designed this chair especially for it. The Costes chair became a symbol of Starck’s much publicised style – simple elegant and functional.

Philippe Starck Cafe Costes Chairs
Philippe Starck Cafe Costes Chairs

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ome are objects universally recognized as icons. Costes chair marked, in 1984, the beginning of the partnership between Philippe Starck and Driade which led to the consecration of the designer, formerly unknown in Italy. Designed for the homonymous, now disappeared, Parisian café, they owe their timeless success to the absoluteness of forms: a dark wooden embracing structure with three highly tilted legs.

Costes Chair
Costes Chair

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Starck began his career as a designer working with Pierre Cardin and then established his reputation with furnitue designs for President Mitterand’s Elysee Palace apartment. Now an International figure, Starck has designed everything from furniture, consumer items including the famous Juicy Salif citrus squeezer (Alessi, 1990), interiors and exteriors including hotels, museums and luxury yachts.

Driade Elegance

Driade is an aesthetic lab in continuous search for beauty in living space. The vast Driade catalogue includes home, garden and public spaces furniture. Pieces of art and objects for daily use, souls that blend each other harmoniously. All this makes Driade unique in design world. The aesthetic lab is the result of the desire to introduce experimentation into mass-produced products. The search for creativity in each product constitutes the mission of the enterprise itself. Driade creates products that are unique, eclectic, eccentric but at the same time elegant, timeless and, above all, joyful. Within this alchemy of means of expression and sensations, everyone finds a Driade that it looks like him.

Vintage armchair
Vintage armchair by Philippe Stark, produced from 1985 by Driade

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The art of living is based on the idea that eclecticism, blend of cultures, curiosity and surprise are the true essence of our age. A bent for listening, a state of alert, an attention to register the signs coming from outside and then translate them into daily products.

Driade, Costes Chairs, furnishing solutions
Driade, Costes Chairs, furnishing solutions

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In the 80’s, Driade took an international turn towards a multiplication of languages. This is Philippe Starck‘s story, who in 1984 with the Costes armchair embarked on a personal research in the realm of shape that Driade is still pursuing ranging from high-quality and handcrafted upholstery products, chairs and tables in rotational and injection mould techniques plastic, the chairs in carbon fiber and many of other materials for myriad other types.

Costes Chairs, furnishing solutions
Costes Chairs, furnishing solutions

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With Starck they were soon to come Tusquets, Clotet, Littmann, Ron Arad, Sipek, Toyo Ito, Chipperfield, Sejima, Pawson, Bellini who together with Mari and Antonia Astori gave life to Driade history, a kaleidoscope of languages that reflects the complexity of developing trends in the world of design.


Born in 1949, Paris, Philippe Starck kick-started his career by designing a pair of nightclub interiors in Paris in the 1970s.. The Frenchman has since become one of the world’s most acclaimed designers, known for his subversive and cheeky approach to design. From transparent furniture to sculptural lemon squeezers, his designs have changed the way we live with their stylised, organic look often constructed using unusual and innovative combinations of materials.

Philippe Starck
Designer Philippe Starck

Image source: by jikatu

Data sheet

Designer: Philippe Starck

Year: 1982

Manufacturer: Driade

Materials: Black painted tubular steel structure and curved plywood mahogany, ebonized mahogany, grey oak, striped wenge or bamboo finished shell. Polyurethane foams padded seat with black or light colored leather fixed cover.

Dimensions: 53 x 48 x 80 cm

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